Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Ulysses Grant McAlexander Collection, 1883-1964

Biographical Note:

Military hero known as the Rock of the Marne, McAlexander served as Commandant of Cadets at Oregon Agricultural College from 1907 to 1911 and again from 1915 to 1916.

Major-General Ulysses Grant McAlexander was born 30 August 1864 at Dundas, Minnesota and graduated from West Point in 1887. He served at Fort Meade in the Dakota Territory and Fort Custer and Fort Missoula, Montana. McAlexander fought in Cuba during the Spanish American War and served in the Phillipines from 1900 to 1907.

In 1907, he was appointed Commandant of Cadets and Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Oregon Agricultural College. He was greatly admired by the students and the 1912 Orange was dedicated to him. The armory, built in 1911, was also dedicated to him and in 1971 was renamed the McAlexander Fieldhouse.

In July 1918, Colonel McAlexander commanded the greatly outnumbered 38th U.S. Infantry Regiment against German forces at the second Battle of the Marne, for which he was promoted to Brigadier General, awarded many military honors, and became known as the "Rock of the Marne".

McAlexander retired from the Army in 1924 and chose Newport, Oregon as his home. Oregon State Agricultural College conferred an honorary doctorate upon him in 1930. He was an unsuccessful candidate in the 1934 Republican gubernatorial primary election. McAlexander died at his home in Portland, Oregon, on 18 September 1936 and was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery.


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